Sweet Water News: Volume 2, Issue 3

Sweet Water Foundation News: Volume 2, Issue 3  
May 2018
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Sweet Water News

Warm weather ahead! The weather in April was cooler than anticipated, but we're finally peeling off our winter coats in preparation for the busy, summer months ahead. The energy at Sweet Water Foundation has been building as we see plants beginning to sprout in the greenhouse, seeds being sown in the farm, and more and more activity each week. Read more about the building momentum happening at Sweet Water Foundation this month.


Sweet Water Stories

Family Day @ Smart Museum: Building Blocks and Sunflower Stalks

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Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival @ the Commons

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Working Through S.C.A.L.E. Program Launch at the Perry Ave Commons

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Humans of Sweet Water

Meet Natalie Zepeda...Natalie is an architecture student at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) who has been interning at Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) since December of 2017. After discovering SWF’s pop-up shop at the Chicago Design Museum in the Block 37 mall, Natalie found that she fit right in with the Sweet Water family. Natalie has been using her skills as an architecture student to draw designs and build 3D models of various spaces at the Perry Ave Commons which spark creativity and show possibility. She recognizes the incredible impact Sweet Water Foundation is making and hopes to be part of the team for as long as possible.

Click here to learn more about Natalie.


What's Happening at the Commons?

We invite you to join us for the fourth workshop of a year-long series of gatherings and events that seek to catalyze the Radical [Re]Construction of Chicago's South side. At this session, you will engage in action-oriented dialogue through which we will collectively reflect on the current state of work and begin to articulate the values and actions required to realize our vision of reconstruction.

Light breakfast, coffee, and lunch will be provided. Arts and crafts activities will be available for children. RSVP Required. Click here to register.




 On Saturday, June 9th, SWF will be hosting our second volunteer day of the year.  Join the Sweet Water Foundation community as we prepare for the 2018 farming season. Roll up your sleeves and help with clean up, flower planting, transplanting, organization, and more.  RSVP Required. Click here to register.

Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes and bring a water bottle and sun protection. Please note: This event will be canceled in the event of heavy rain.  We will contact all registered volunteers to update on the status of the volunteer day.


Save-the-date for the first annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Perry Ave Commons. Join us as we celebrate this important, historical event with live music, arts & crafts, health & wellness activities, and much more. More details coming soon.
The Radical [Re]Constructions exhibit will connect the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago to Sweet Water Foundation's Perry Avenue Commons. The installation features a large, three-dimensional representation of a house, set against the Museum’s central lobby wall and constructed from salvaged materials including wood that SWF apprentices finished with the traditional Japanese shou sugi ban charring technique. The Smart Museum is free and open to the public. For museum hours and directions, click here.

Basil Walnut Pesto

Basil is a flavorful and delicious herb that can be grown indoors throughout the year. The basil plants at The Commons have been growing indoors throughout the winter months, and are almost ready to be planted outside. Enjoy the freshness of basil with a simple Caprese Salad, or try using fresh basil to make your own pesto sauce. Pesto is often made with pine nuts, but this month, let's try to use walnuts instead. Meggan at Culinary Hill has a great recipe for Basil Walnut Pesto.  Mix this sauce into a pasta dish or use it as the perfect rub for chicken. 

  • 6 cloves garlic unpeeled (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (see notes)
  • 4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

To try this recipe, click here

Puppet Show @ the Commons
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Jia Li Pratt